Last issue we saw Eddie Brock take his first steps towards becoming the malevolent symbiote Venom. Eddie is an insecure guy and often incurring the wrath of others, intentionally or untentionally. He also met Spider-Man briefly.
The story picks up quite a bit later from where we last saw Eddie. The Sin- Eater brutally murders good cop Jean Dewulff. Eddie and his girlfriend Ann read about the killing in the newspaper. Ann fails to find Eddie's article and he gets a little angry.
Eddie's life as a reporter is not exactly flourishing. However he receives a note from someone claiming to be the Sin-Eater. The serial killer wants to talk with Eddie. He claims Jean Dewulff is the first of many victims. Eddie reports the conversation to his boss. He grudgingly gives Eddie a chance at the front page if the Sin-Eater makes good on his word.
Another murder occurs and Eddie gets the front page. Ann is overjoyed for Eddie. Unfortunately, the newfound success goes to Eddie's head and he becomes arrogant and egotistical to his co-workers. The Sin-Eater calls Eddie again and requests a meeting at a church. Ediie nervously comes at the appointed time and has a creepy conversation. The Sin-Eater claims his name is Emil Gregg and that he needs to be stopped.
The next day Eddie brushes off Ann in the hope that the Sin-Eater will come calling again. A third victim is killed. Eddie's reporting catches the attention of rival publisher J. Jonah Jameson. Sales of the Daily Bugle is being trumped by Brock's paper the Daily Globe due to the sensationalism of the Sin-Eater.
Later that day a NYPD detective visits Brock and demands to know the identity of the serial killer. Brock refuses and promptly gets arrested. Eddie is released shortly thereafter. His lawyer doubts that he can keep Eddie out of jail for the time being. Before he can enter his apartment, Eddie's father makes a surprising appearance. Eddie's father is disappointed that his son is protecting the identity of a known killer.
The next day Eddie gives up the identity in a new report. The EiC of the Daily Globe meets with Eddie and informs him that the NYPD apprehended Gregg. He shows Eddie a TV news bulletin on Stan Carter, Dewulff's former partner. It turns out that Carter was the real Sin-Eater and Gregg was only a mere copycat. Spider-Man figured out the truth and exposed Carter and by consequence Brock's false reporting. Eddie is quickly fired.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the first issue and had high hopes going into this one. However, my hopes were quickly dashed when this second issue became a note for note drag out of what we already know about the character of Eddie Brock. We learned nothing new. To be fair I am sure readers who have not read the original issues appreciated this issue. Yet, what was previously established conflicts with the tone of a reader friendly mini-series. This promised to be a series built upon continuity and this simply rehashes it.
That being said there are a few highlights that harken back to the success of the first issue. I enjoyed the moments that Eddie and Ann shared and quite simply wished there were more of them. Eddie's fall from grace, despite already known to fans of the character, was well executed from a editorial standpoint. However, we knew what was going to happen so there was very little suspense.
Angel Medina's art remains a treat to behold, especially in his covers. He compromises somewhere in between realism and straight out over the top theatrics. There is very little chance for Medina to show off dynamic action panels as this issue once again is very much dialogue driven. Ordinarily, this would not be a problem if the story was interesting enough on its own merits.
My expectations for a solid Venom mini-series were once again dashed as very little suspense was gleaned for a story that was frankly already told successfully over 20 years ago. My suggestion would be to pick up the trade paperback of the Venom saga. Unfortunately, there is 3 (!!!) more issues to go in this re-telling of Venom's "dark" origin.